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Federal Way police arrest 16-year-old in Gennings murder; 14-year-old suspect remains at large
Federal Way police arrested a 16-year-old Federal Way resident on Friday in connection with the Feb. 13 killing of Wesley Gennings, and a 14-year-old suspect remains at large.
Police said the at-large suspect is 14-year-old Diante J. Pellum of Tacoma, a student at Saghalie Middle School. Police say Pellum should be considered armed and dangerous, and officers are warning members of the public against attempting to contact him.
The suspect that was arrested was identified as a 16-year-old male resident of Federal Way. He was arrested on the campus of Thomas Jefferson High School and was in possession of a loaded weapon when apprehended. Police are withholding the suspect's name until formal charges are filed.
Gennings, a 16-year-old enrolled at Decatur High School who previously was a student at Saghalie Middle School, was found shot dead in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Taco Bell at 2031 SW Campus Drive. Police said witnesses saw two males exit the vehicle Gennings was in around the same time they heard gunshots.
“Following an interview with the arrested subject, it was confirmed that both suspects met Gennings on February 13, 2016, at a location in Federal Way,” said Federal Way Police Department officials in a statement. “It was also confirmed they met him to buy marijuana and that they had been in Gennings’ vehicle.
“Through investigation the police department can confidently report that this senseless crime was purely motivated by the sale and distribution of drugs.”
Police, as well as the Mirror, have opted to identify Pellum, a minor, in the interest of public safety.
"Obviously we understand the sensitivity of releasing the name and photograph of a 14-year-old suspect, but we believe the balance is the community safety and that we’re confident that we have identified the right people," said Federal Way Police Department spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.
Federal Way police are still seeking information on this case, which they call “an active complicated investigation with many moving parts.” Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Federal Way Police Department at 253-835-2121 or submit anonymous tips at www.safecityfw.com.
The Mirror will update this story as it develops.